Shares of Petro Matad Plunge 40% as Drilling Delayed, CEO Steps Down

Shares of Mongolian oil explorer Petro Matad Ltd. (MATD.LN) plunged as much as 40% in early trade Tuesday after the company said that drilling at its Snow Leopard well will be delayed and that Chief Executive Ridvan Karpuz will step down next month.

The U.K.-listed company said the rig contracted with China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (SNP), or Sinopec, to drill at Snow Leopard is still in the process of obtaining certification. The rig was supposed to be certified by Sep. 15, but Sinopec won't be able to do this before October and there won't be enough time to complete the drilling before winter, Petro Matad said.

Petro Matad added that it has entered discussions with Sinopec on potential remedies and it will either terminate the contract before issuing a new tender or continue with the Chinese company as contractor.

The oil company said that Mr. Karpuz will be stepping down as CEO in mid-October. The search for a successor has already started, Petro Matad added.

Shares at 0939 GMT were down 38% at 6.38 pence.

Write to Adria Calatayud at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 19, 2017 06:00 ET (10:00 GMT)